The pilot reported that he departed for a parachute jump flight with 12 gallons of fuel onboard. He added that, after the parachute jumpers exited the airplane about 10,500 ft mean sea level (msl), he initiated a left spiraling descent back to the airport. He further added that he “heard and felt the engine start [to] quiet down as if it was shutting down.” He then began to make right descending turns and verified that the fuel selector was in the “both” position. He added that the cylinder head temperature was decreasing, so he switched back to left descending turns and that the “fuel starvation due to banking happened two more times.”
According to the pilot, he landed the airplane on the 1,800-ft-long asphalt runway in the rain at 70 mph with full flaps. He reported that, on final, he had considered conducting a go-around due to wind and weather, but “we were low, slow, and 130 pounds below maximum gross weight with very dynamic wind conditions at the time and …apartment buildings about 400 yards beyond the end of runway 19.” During the landing, he touched down with a right crosswind, about 600 ft beyond the runway threshold.
The pilot reported that on the morning of the flight he used a fuel dipstick to check fuel tank quantities prior to his flight. The fuel tank dipstick was marked in the number of skydiving flights and reserve fuel had a mark as well. The right tank showed a higher fuel quantity than the left and when combined, the stick showed enough fuel for three flight loads of jumpers. He further stated that he fueled the airplane up to the “four load” level five days prior to the accident flight, which was the last time the airplane was flown.
The pilot in the tricycle-gear-equipped airplane reported that he landed about 4 ft short of the asphalt runway. The nose landing gear struck the 6-inch-high asphalt perimeter and separated from the airplane. The pilot aborted the landing, the airplane bounced, and the pilot established a climb. He completed one traffic pattern and an approach. During the second landing, the pilot chose to land on the turf safety area parallel to the runway. When the airplane’s main landing gear touched down on the turf surface, the airplane nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall, fuselage, left wing, and empennage.
On September 17, 2016, about 1918 Mountain standard time, a Cessna 182P, N20844, was destroyed when it impacted a residential structure, following a reported inflight fire near Gilbert, Arizona.
The commercial pilot reported that, after dropping off skydivers, he made a rapid spiraling descent back to the airport. The pilot added that, because the wind had changed such that it resulted in a tailwind, he initiated a go-around during the landing approach; however, when he advanced the throttle, the engine initially surged and then lost power. The pilot made a forced landing in a corn field near the end of the runway.
After the accident, the pilot drained about 7 gallons of fuel from the airplane. Fuel was present in the carburetor, but the gascolator bowl was empty. No other anomalies were noted. It is likely that the low level of fuel unported during the rapid spiraling descent, which led to the subsequent fuel starvation to the engine.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Safety Inspector that arrived at the scene shortly after the accident, he located the uninjured pilot in command (PIC) and a passenger rated pilot who were the only occupants of the airplane. The inspector reported that the PIC told him that he had fueled the airplane prior to the flight. The PIC told the inspector that he had flown 2.5 hours on the right tank which indicated 3.9 gallons of fuel remained per the electronic fuel quantity indicator, at which time he switched to the left tank which indicated 15 gallons of fuel remained per the electronic fuel quantity indicator.
On May 23, 2016 about 0922 Hawaiian standard time, a Cessna 182H, N2007X, was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after departure from Port Allen (PAK), Hanapepe, Hawaii. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, D & J Air Adventures, Inc., as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 flight as a part of the skydiving flight operation. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan filed. The local flight originated from PAK at about 0921.
According to the pilot of the tricycle landing gear equipped airplane, he was performing skydiving operations. He reported that he felt rushed in performing his assigned duties because, “the skydiving school kept wanting me to return quicker for the next load.”
On September 27, 2015, about 1830 central daylight time, a Cessna 182A airplane, N3921D, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with trees and terrain near Lexington, Texas. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Austin Skydiving Center, Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a skydiving flight operation.
On July 14, 2015 about 1456 central standard time, a Cessna 1959 year model 182B skydive equipped airplane, N2764G, registered to Cook Aviation of St. Louis, Missouri, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain after the pilot bailed out (via donned parachute) due to flight control problems.
On June 29, 2015, about 0813 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182D, N9980T, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a reported loss of engine power during an approach to landing at the AJ Eisenberg Airport (OKH) Oak Harbor, Washington. The airplane was registered to Sinclair Aviation LLC., and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot was seriously injured and the passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the skydiving flight. The local flight departed OKH at an undetermined time.
On June 13, 2015, about 1900 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182A, N5143D, experienced a loss of engine power while on final approach to the Canyonlands Field Airport (CNY), Moab, Utah. The pilot subsequently made an off airport forced landing. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was operated by Skydive Canyonlands under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a skydiving operation. The airplane sustained structural damage to the tail section of the airplane. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight, and a company flight plan had been filed. The flight was destined for CNY.
According to the pilot, he was attempting a soft field landing on runway 27. Following a stable approach and landing, a gust of wind was encountered. The airplane veered to the right and the pilot was unable to stop the airplane before the right wing struck a wind sock pole. An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration examined the airplane and confirmed substantial damage to the right wing. The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
The pilot was on final approach when the engine started to run out of fuel. She said her boss had a similar problem on a previous flight, and had to correct for it by pitching the nose up and down to force fuel into the fuel lines. The pilot recalled pitching the nose up and down but nothing after that.
According to the pilot’s report, he leveled the airplane about 11,000 feet and established a speed of 80 mph with 10 degrees of flaps extended. When the last skydiver exited the airplane, its nose pitched up. The pilot pushed forwarded on the control wheel and added full engine power.
On February 9, 2014, about 1700 central standard time, a Cessna 182A airplane
nosed over during a forced landing while on final approach to land at the
Lexington Airfield (TE75), Lexington, Texas. The pilot was not injured. The
airplane received substantial damage to the firewall and rudder.
On November 2, 2013, about 1800 central daylight time, a Cessna 185F, N94059, sustained substantial damage when it collided with a Cessna 182L, N70520, during a formation skydiving flight near Superior, Wisconsin. The pilot was able to maintain control of the Cessna 185F and land at the Richard I. Bong Airport (SUW), Superior, Wisconsin. The five skydivers in the Cessna 185F jumped free of the airplane during the collision and deployed their parachutes and were not injured.
On September 29, 2013, about 1530 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182J, N3078F, landed short of the runway at Dona Ana County Airport, Santa Teresa (5T6), New Mexico, after the engine lost power. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a skydiving flight.
On September 14, 2013, about 1224 mountain standard time, a Cessna 182A, N6324B, experienced a loss of engine power while landing at the Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ), Casa Grande, Arizona. The pilot subsequently made an off airport forced landing in a field. The airplane encountered rough terrain during the landing roll, which resulted in a nose-over.